At Melbourne, January 16, 2009 (day/night). South Africa won by three wickets. Toss: Australia. One-day international debut: V. B. van Jaarsveld.
Some late-innings dithering by Australia was shown up by Albie Morkel, who clumped 40 from just 18 balls to rush South Africa (who delayed their batting powerplay until the 45th over, to good effect) to victory after they had slipped to 221 for seven, needing 51 with 38 balls left. Australia had started well, reaching 144 for two after 30 overs thanks to the intelligent strokeplay of Marsh and a somewhat fortunate innings from Ponting, who was nearly run out second ball, and survived the first of three confident lbw appeals off his third: he was also put down at 33 by the debutant Vaughn van Jaarsveld at square leg. But Clarke was affected by a broken thumb - he missed the next three matches - during a halting 38-ball effort that slowed the rate, and Marsh perished trying to keep the score moving. David Hussey's invention was wasted by lack of support, and the eventual 271 looked about 20 short. It looked even shorter during a bright stand of 123 between Duminy - who hit 44 singles and no boundaries in his 71 - and McKenzie, but four quick wickets for eight runs appeared to have gifted Australia a surprise victory. Morkel, though, had other ideas.
Man of the Match: J. A. Morkel